The average life expectancy for a male in 1901 was 47.6 yrs. For a female it was 50.6 yrs old. Retirement was not much of an issue in the early 1900’s. Now the average life expectancy for a male and female is 83 yrs and 85 yrs respectively. Most people can not work until their 80’s. It is just not feasible for the average person. We are forced to spend our working years saving for at least a decade of not being able to create an income. This is why retirement is a buzzkill.
Most of the jobs being created are low wage service sector jobs. Even in this horrible economic climate, these jobs are relatively easy to find. I have friends that work 2 minimum wage jobs and make ends meet. They are able to hold down an apartment and they have a small amount of disposable income. If they get fired from one low wage job they find another one within weeks. This seems like a workable solution to a horrible economy until you factor in one thing. RETIREMENT.
I told my “starving artist” friend that working two jobs is not too bad. He could do that forever and things could be ok. But then I realized that 20 somethings can not do that forever. It takes a tremendous amount of money to save for the 15 to 20 years when you will not be physically able to work. The older you get the less able you are to work two minimum wage jobs. Even if you could, how would you save for retirement? This increase in life expectancy in the last century has ushered in a new set of challenges. A large retirement savings is one of them. When you are in your 20’s you don’t think about it. The starving artist lifestyle is cool when you are young. It is not so cool when you get older. Why cant we just stay young until the day we die. Or just stop ageing at like 40 and then just die 30 yrs later. Fuck retirement.
I can partly understand why immigrant parents force their kids into medical school. They want to shield them from the harsh realities of the job market. They want their kids to have security in their old age. Going the safe route just for economic security has its sacrifices. You never really get to venture out and take risks. What is that point of saving for retirement if you haven’t really lived. I guess it’s a trade off . Hopefully I can be that elderly person that still works a job they love until they die. That would be cool.